Aim: to analyze the correlation between cytokine-induced killer (cik) cells adoptive immunotherapy and cancer-related death in gastric cancer patients. methods: One hundred and fifty-six gastric cancer patients after operation at the Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University were enrolled in this study. Their clinical data including demographic characteristics, operation time, tumor size, pathological type and staging, tumor metastasis, outcome of chemotherapy or CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy, survival time or time of death were collected with a standard structured questionnaire. Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the median survival time, and the 2- and 5- year survival rates. Hazard risk (HR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy for gastric cancer were calculated using the two-stage time-dependent covariates Cox model.
Results: the survival time of gastric cancer patients was longer after CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy than after chemotherapy (χ(2) = 10.907, P = 0.001). The median survival time of gastric cancer patients was also longer after CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy than after chemotherapy (49 mo vs 27 mo, P < 0.05). The 2- and 5-year survival rates of gastric cancer patients were significantly higher after CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy than after chemotherapy (73.5% vs 52.6%, 40.4% vs 23.9%, P < 0.05). A significant difference was observed in the survival curve for patients who received CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy (0, 1-10, 11-25, and over 25 frequencies) (χ(2) = 14.534, P = 0.002). The frequencies of CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy were significantly related with the decreasing risk of death in gastric cancer patients after adjustment for sex and age of the patients, tumor stage and relapse (HR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.36-0.80) when the first stage Cox model was used to define the subjects who remained alive beyond 36 mo as survivors. However, no correlation was observed between the frequencies of death in CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy and the risk of gastric cancer patients (HR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.63-0.89) when the second stage Cox model was used to define the subjects who survived for more than 36 mo as survivors.
Conclusion: the survival time of the gastric cancer patients treated with chemotherapy combined with CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy is significantly longer than that of the patients treated with chemotherapy alone and increasing the frequency of CIK cells adoptive immunotherapy seems to benefit patients more.